A growing field of study with a rapidly expanding literature, global warming should be of interest to everyone on Earth. Evidence of the greenhouse effect, due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other trace gases, has been accumulating for a quarter century. This book covers both research from scientific journals and newspaper and magazine reports of present-day evidence. The book will be a valuable resource for individuals concerned with the environment as well as for students of environmental sciences, meteorology, and earth sciences.
This book reports the current state of knowledge on climate change adaptation, and seeks to expose and debate key issues in adaptation research and practice. It is framed around a number of critical areas of adaptation theory and practice, including:Advances in adaptation thinking, Enabling frameworks and policy for adaptation, Engaging and communicating with practitioners, Key challenges in adaptation and development, Management of natural systems and agriculture under climate change, Ensuring water security under a changing climate, Urban infrastructure and livelihoods, and The nexus between extremes, disaster management and adaptation.
It includes contributions from many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in adaptation today. The book is based on key contributions from the First International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation ‘Climate Adaptation Futures’, held on the Gold Coast, Australia, in June 2010. That three-day meeting of over 1000 researchers and practitioners in adaptation from 50 countries was the first of its kind.
Readership: The book is essential reading for a wide range of individuals involved in climate change adaptation, including:Researchers, Communication specialists, Decision-makers and policy makers (e.g. government staff, local council staff), On-ground adaptation practitioners (e.g. aid agencies, government workers, NGOs), Postgraduate and graduate students, and Consultants.
“The goal of meteorology is to portray everything atmospheric, everywhere, always,” declared John Bellamy and Harry Wexler in 1960, soon after the successful launch of TIROS 1, the first weather satellite. Throughout the twentieth century, meteorological researchers have had global ambitions, incorporating technological advances into their scientific study as they worked to link theory with practice. Wireless telegraphy, radio, aviation, nuclear tracers, rockets, digital computers, and Earth-orbiting satellites opened up entirely new research horizons for meteorologists. In this book, James Fleming charts the emergence of the interdisciplinary field of atmospheric science through the lives and careers of three key figures: Vilhelm Bjerknes (1862–1951), Carl-Gustaf Rossby (1898–1957), and Harry Wexler (1911–1962).
In the early twentieth century, Bjerknes worked to put meteorology on solid observational and theoretical foundations. His younger colleague, the innovative and influential Rossby, built the first graduate program in meteorology (at MIT), trained aviation cadets during World War II, and was a pioneer in numerical weather prediction and atmospheric chemistry. Wexler, one of Rossby's best students, became head of research at the U.S. Weather Bureau, where he developed new technologies from radar and rockets to computers and satellites, conducted research on the Antarctic ice sheet, and established carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. He was also the first meteorologist to fly into a hurricane—an experience he chose never to repeat.
Fleming maps both the ambitions of an evolving field and the constraints that checked them—war, bureaucracy, economic downturns, and, most important, the ultimate realization (prompted by the formulation of chaos theory in the 1960s by Edward Lorenz) that perfectly accurate measurements and forecasts would never be possible.
These ideas might sound like science fiction, but in fact they are part of a very old story. For more than a century, scientists, soldiers, and charlatans have tried to manipulate weather and climate, and like them, today's climate engineers wildly exaggerate what is possible. Scarcely considering the political, military, and ethical implications of managing the world's climate, these individuals hatch schemes with potential consequences that far outweigh anything their predecessors might have faced.
Showing what can happen when fixing the sky becomes a dangerous experiment in pseudoscience, James Rodger Fleming traces the tragicomic history of the rainmakers, rain fakers, weather warriors, and climate engineers who have been both full of ideas and full of themselves. Weaving together stories from elite science, cutting-edge technology, and popular culture, Fleming examines issues of health and navigation in the 1830s, drought in the 1890s, aircraft safety in the 1930s, and world conflict since the 1940s. Killer hurricanes, ozone depletion, and global warming fuel the fantasies of today. Based on archival and primary research, Fleming's original story speaks to anyone who has a stake in sustaining the planet.